When I first went through Ibarionex's resume I thought to myself, "now this is what a professional photographers resume should look like!" And while I was impressed by Perello's past 25 years -- it is in no way an absolute. Why -- because there is no predefined path to becoming a great photographer.
Becoming a great -- as with many things in life -- is a process a journey. And it's in that journey where you -- the photographer -- find your distinctive voice.
Yes, photography is about hardware, software, location and connections. But great photography is considerably more about you, your voice and your story.
LBTL: You have a very impressive photographic resume -- 25 years in the industry, producer of The Candid Frame, author of Chasing the Light and adjunct professor at the Art Center College of Design. What advice can you give to aspiring Latino photographers?
IP: I think the important thing to remember is that there is no "one" path to becoming a photographer. There are as many ways to achieve success as there are photographers. If there is any secret, it's really a combination of a willingness to take risks, make sacrifices and passion to be successful at anything. Passion alone is not enough.
It's the work involved with the other two choices that allows people to take advantage of luck when it finally decides to show its head.
LBTL: What photographic philosophy do you hold most dear?
IP: It's not about the equipment or the technique or the pedigree. It's about the vision and the closer that vision is to something that moves you, inspires you and challenges the way you personally see the world, the better the work and the more likely that such work will find an audience. It's this kind of work that peaks my interest as a viewer and that inspires me as a photographer.
LBTL: Tell me about being Dominican? How has the culture influenced your photography over the past 25 years?
IP: I was raised in Los Angeles which doesn't enjoy as concentrated a community of Dominicans as found in New York and elsewhere. So, beyond my immediate family and family friends, I've often felt a disconnect between myself and the culture. I think it's a common experience for those 1st generation kids of immigrant parents.
So, I think that feeling of not feeling completely Dominican nor completely American is something that pervades a lot of my creative work.
LBTL: You have a new book coming out -- Adobe Master Class: Photoshop Inspiring artwork and tutorials by established and emerging artists. What sets this book apart from other Photoshop tutorials?
IP: This book is about possibilities, thinking beyond the uniformity of what's possible with Photoshop. The artists that I showcased in the book each bring a unique voice and approach to their work. They all use the same software, but they each use it in a very different way.
What I find most interesting about their images is that so many of them have a strong sense of story and narrative, which really resonates with me. It's my hope that the book will help people think of what's really possible with photography and not settle for just replicating someone else's technique.
LBTL: Finish this sentence for me "When Ibarionex Perello interviews a photographer for The Candid Frame, he..."
IP: ...he moves past the "how" and delves into the "why."
I am trying to understand not only why a person is a photographer, but how their thinking about what they do influences their choices and actions. In the end, I hope to provide listeners to discover that creativity is not the exclusive domain of just a few, but it's something that available to anyone who makes the choice to do so and commits to work that allows it to happen.
Call to Action
I know it's difficult -- to not worry about the photographic hardware and software. We have a romantic connection to the things that make our photography better. But these are not foundations -- per se -- they are simply tools.
As Ibarionex explains, "it's about the vision and the closer that vision is to something that moves you, inspires you..."